The Welder’s Wife

My husband and I were on our way to a simple date night last Saturday. It was one of the first we have been on in a while. He has been working just under 2 hours away from home and the long drives and hard days drain on him.

I was excited to spend time with him. Even though I could tell he could lay down and sleep for a week straight, we were going to enjoy some time alone together. We were headed to the restaurant when we pulled up behind a large black truck with an elaborate detail on the back glass. “Oilfield Trash” was plastered across the window in a broad decorative font. I have heard those words a dozen times and know that they are used by older oilfield workers.

I also know what they used to mean.

In early pipelining days, the traveling caravans of men that would come into small prairie towns were often referred to as “oilfield trash” by locals who believed themselves to be much better than oilfield workers and their drifter lifestyle. But then, “oilfield trash” wasn’t cute. It was derogatory and offensive. Come to think of it, it seems like this happens every so often. The phrase that was used to denigrate a group of people is adopted by that culture to unite them.

So there it was. Displayed proudly on the back of this kid’s truck – a badge of honor for everyone to see “Oilfield Trash.”

I looked at my sweet husband with dark circles under his eyes from welding out in the blistering Oklahoma heat, and I was hurt. Trash?

Almost 3 years ago, my husband moved back to his small hometown to help with the family pipeline construction business. At that time, his dad was in poor health, and my husband was going to come and hopefully provide his dad some stress relief.

He began as a “hand” who basically just does what needs to be done – whatever that may be. He then became a “welder’s helper” and shortly after apprenticing and testing became a welder himself. That is what he does. He works in the oildfield as a welder… And you know what? My husband is not trash.

Trash does not go out on the road for months at a time to make money for a wife and two babies back home. Trash doesn’t get up at the crack of dawn and drive 150 miles (if they are staying in town) to work until sunset and THEN drive 150 miles home hoping to spend a few minutes with his babies before bed. Trash doesn’t get up and do it again and again and again for the next however many days straight putting in long hours and working weekends.


My husband does not work knee deep in mud and come home caked in Oklahoma red-dirt to be called trash. That’s called hard work people. His office is the great open spaces of the heartland.  His office is creek beds and grass lands and wheat fields and dirt… there is always dirt. You can’t hardly build a natural gas pipeline and bury it in the ground and not get dirty.

No, he didn’t trade in a cushy office chair and air conditioned paperwork because pipelining sounded easier, and he certainly didn’t do it to be considered trash. He did it because it is what needed to happen to better our family. All of it… And he still finds time to be an awesome father and a wonderful husband.

And the women who take care of them? They aren’t trash either. They get up at the break of day to pack lunches and start praying because they saw the weather report called for 100+ temps for the next 7 days straight. Trashy wives do not beg God to send their sweet husband a cloud to bring a few moments of cool relief. Trashy wives do not worry constantly about whether or not their husbands are drinking enough water or worry if their husbands are going to catch on fire. Just because we pull soapstone from our husbands pockets instead of business cards when we are doing laundry and find sand and metal bristles in our dryers does not make us or our husbands trash.

No. Pipeline wives will smile kindly at you in the bank, grocery store, or post office when you complain about how hot it was walking from your car to the front door as we think about our husbands sweating and laying pipe in a ditch somewhere. We will sit proudly across a restaurant table from a sweaty mud caked man in a heavy button down because he is the most handsome man we have ever seen and he lived another day.

We will take our babies from our beautiful homes to live short-term in nasty small town apartments so they can be closer to daddy. We will live for weeks out of the year in campers like gypsies going from job to job….And we will stay home and try to keep things normal as a single mom – as a lonely wife – as a dedicated partner to men who give every last ounce of themselves to provide for their families. And we will do it proudly.

So, to the young man in the black truck who wears the title of trash proudly, I would like to say this…

I would agree that the world of pipelining is unique and secretive. Those outside of our world will never fully be able to understand it. I am proud of the work that my husband accomplishes. I am proud of how much of himself he gives so that my children and I can live a blessed life. I am proud to be a welder’s wife. I was proud to be a helper’s wife. I am proud to be a part of the pipelining community. But let’s take what the world knows about pipeliners and transform it! Give it a new title! – Because the only thing “trashy” about pipelining, are those who use that as a name.

The welder’s wife.



Don’t forget to leave a comment and let me know you stopped by! Or click like to pass it on!….Or… go back up to the top and click “like” on the sidebar to follow me on facebook! Read more about the welder’s wife here.


  • Larry Feazel says:

    Great piece Princess Becky. This winter, write another one about working in the wind at sub-zero temps…………

    • Jessica says:

      I love this! My little family live in a camper now and have been to so many new places. I have been the lonely “single mom” working and just recently quit to travel like a gypsy when he broke out. I love it and it saved our marriage for sure! My husband is a hard working man and is definitely not trash!
      Alot of people do not understand our lifestyle…

  • Meg says:

    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for this post! My husband also works on the pipelines in NW Oklahoma (completely different world from our Texas town) and I have a high hatred for the oil field trash stickers. Right up there with the spoiled oil field wife stickers. I mean seriously? I think I completely stalked all your entries and have laughed and cried the whole time, but this one had to be my favorite!

    • Scissortail SILK says:

      Oh, Meg! I am so touched that you took the time to read through all the posts! I am even more excited that they blessed your heart! Don’t be a stranger! I would love to see you stop by again!

  • Tommy Simmons says:

    Good grief lady it’s just all in fun I’ve been a welder for 40 years I call myself welding trash all the time and so does all the welders I know look up humor in the dictionary and try exercising it its fun your’s truly white welding trash

    • Scissortail SILK says:

      You’re right, Tommy. Humor is fun! I love to laugh! I’m laughing right now… 😉 Just kidding. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment.

  • Kathy says:

    From a Pipeliners Wife in the midst of it, packing to move to the next job with a three year old and dog, 10 hours away. This was what I needed to read today. Thank you! You wrote it perfectly. I m proud of what we do because my husband works his hardest for us. Thanks for reminding me why I do this!

    • Scissortail SILK says:

      It is easy to be proud of the hard working men that we love! Wrote this for ladies like us, who love our pipeliners and want others to respect them as much as we do! Safe travels and blessings on your adventure!

  • Lisa B says:

    Tommy – It might be an “inside joke” for you and your friends but when the locals call and treat us like TRASH it’s not funny anymore. They learn that it’s OK because they hear it and read our stickers.

    Great story. Thanks for writing this.

  • Barbara Herring says:

    Lone what you had to say itbisvsontrue

  • Ken Wallace says:

    Very good article, I chased the pipelines for years working 7 days a week 12+ hours a day. I never considered any person who done this for his family to be trash. For the most part I think the stickers are meant to be for fun and should be taken as a compliment. Prayers for everyone out there fighting the elements Gods and the man made!!

  • Rachael York says:

    Thank you so much for this, my husband also works on pipelines and some people are always giving him grief asking him “how can you leave your baby girl like that for so long” well like you said we don’t look at it as him us leaving us, he is out there providing for our beautiful family and home! He works very long hard hours and then when we do get to spend time with him usually we have him home for a few months at a time and its wonderful, I couldn’t ask for a more wonderful husband and provider for our family and I love him very much and pray daily for god to keep him and all welder brothers safe!!!

    • Scissortail SILK says:

      They do it because they love us, don’t they Rachael. There are a million jobs that are “easier,” but our guys aren’t about easy. They are about hard work and dedication… and that is why we love them. THanks for taking the time to read and comment! I hope you stop by again!

  • Lori (Reichle) Dillon says:


    I saw this on a friend’s Facebook wall. I am a daughter AND a wife of pipeline welders… I am PROUD to say.
    My mother is visiting us right now. I decided, after getting my face all made up for us to go eat with my daughter, to read this for the first time out loud to my mom. It brought so many tears to my eyes that I now have to start all over on my make-up. 😉

    THANK -YOU for writing this.
    Today is my granddaughter’s 3rd birthday so she’s the star of my Facebook wall today. 😉 But I plan to share this on my wall tomorrow. :)


    • Scissortail SILK says:

      Oh, Lori! I am so sorry I made you ruin your makeup, but I am so glad that it touched your heart! We are blessed to be in the families of hard working men. Men that know what dedication looks like! Happy birthday to your sweet 3 year old granddaughter! I pray the day is full of overwhelming love! Thanks so much for stopping by and for sharing tomorrow! Hope you come back soon!

  • A tribute to the hard working welders. Well done.
    And to my cousin that is one of them, hats off to you. Love you.

  • Deborah Hankins says:

    I so loved this. Beautifully written. I am a welder’s helper and I have talked to so many of the welder’s on pipeline. They will get to talking about their wives and children, and you see their faces light up with the love they have for their families. They miss their families so much. You can here the longing in their voices. They miss family and home. I know. I am one of them. I have shed many tears when out on the road, alone, because I miss my family so much. Yes we have been called “Oilfield trash, Pipeline trash”. I am, neither, and neither or my brothers and sisters in my pipeline family. We are hard working men and women, that sacrifice so much to provide for our families. Thank you so much for sharing from your heart. God bless you, your husband and your children.

  • Donna says:

    I my self am a pipe liners wife. (Well soon to be) and I couldn’t even begin to describe how proud I am of my future hubby. He began as nothing but a hand for a refrigeration co. He put in his time and on every lunch break or any of time that he had he was in the yard practicing his welding skills. He eventually made it to be an actual welder (a DAMN FINE one at that) and that led to about 12 years in the industrial refrigeration field, until one day he came to me and said he decided that he wanted to go pipelining. Me being new to all of the “lingo”of course encourage him to follow his everything wasn’t as gravy as I would liked to have been and he didn’t pass the first test that really discouraged him, but I kept encouraging him and letting him know that I was so proud of him for even trying to do something that he really had no idea about. he took the second test once again doesn’t pass…I guess third time is the charm because on his third test he pass it with flying colors now he’s getting calls from all over the country to go work for these people I could not be more of him! I absolutely admire his passion for going by planning to make a career out of it first it was for personal satisfaction and second it was terrific provide for me his fiance and his step daughter (which is pretty much his) there’s not a day that goes by when I talk to him every morning I tell him I love you have a good day please be careful every single day I pray that he goes to work and he gets off work to call me and the vent about his day.that’s that’s HARD WORK and DEDICATION… not just to a job but to a family and that is absolutely amazing

  • Amber says:

    I agree oil fielders are not trash… But I think that term is pointed at the few welders/pipelines who don’t put their family first the way others do but instead put themselves first by getting pulled over once a year for driving under the influence ! Those are the pipeliners who give them all a bad name! Reckless and careless individuals.

    • Scissortail SILK says:

      Yikes, Amber! It sounds like you know of an oilfield worker who has made questionable decisions. It is always so unfortunate when we decide to group a category of people by the actions of a few. It is even more unfortunate when we relate the profession of an individual with their actions. Sad people make bad choices, but sometimes we say, “that sad [pipeliner] made some bad choices… those bad pipeliners…” Rather than just saying, “That sad person made some bad choices.”

      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. I am so glad that we agree that oil fielders are not trash!

  • Kelsey says:

    I love this. My dad has been a pipeline welder since he was old enough to test. He has traveled all over the world including Alaska (he wants to move there) and Canada where he was offered dual citizenship. Growing up, I never thought twice about hopping in his filthy welding rig when he picked me up at school. I was just ecstatic that my daddy was back in Texas for a little while! My parents divorced when I was young and the man my mom married worked for Union Pacific railroad. Now, my husband also works for the railroad and the lifestyle that comes with it is similar in many ways to that of a welder lifestyle. I’m so grateful that God prepared my heart as a child to be able to pray for and accept the “inconveniences” that come with it. Being a “single” married mom can be tough. Handling the day to day on our your own certainly wears you out. But it also makes the time together that much sweeter! I am thankful to read this article from a like-minded wife. Your husband and babies are blessed!

  • Shawnee says:

    It is nice to know there are other wives who feel this same way! I realize that people use the term “trash” as a joke. But I was taught that trash was a derogatory term and am unable to wear or use the term with pride. I value what my husband does to make sacrifices in his profession. My son is also a welder and I have been a helper. It was an eye opener to be on the job with them even though I already was aware of their struggles. No trash in those two welders, just hard workers who love their families and take pride in themselves. Thank God. Thank you, too, for spreading awareness.

    • Scissortail SILK says:

      Thank you so much for stopping by Shawnee. It is hard work and we appreciate their dedication. We want them to have pride and feel united, we just want them to leave the trash talk out of it. Right? They deserve so much more. Your guys and mine! Thanks again for taking the time to comment. I am so glad this is touching hearts.


  • shelley revey says:

    I also hate that poor representation of a Welder! Althouth there are many welders who go on the road and act a fool there are many that are Good Hard Working Men that honor their wives. In the past we were “not in the loop” because my husband didn’t run the bars and whores like the rest but We unlike them have something to show for that hard work and the lonely days and weeks and months a wife has that sits at home and honors his hard work. It is mentally tough to be lonely.

    That saying is immaturity and lack of pride for the industry and takes away from the real professionals that carry the load for fools that throw a welder on the back and think they are something. I HATE THE ARROGANCE THAT SO MANY EXHIBIT.

    They haven’t learned that a REAL MAN isn’t arrogant but humble and kind and honors his wife no matter where he is.

  • Jim babcock says:

    Thank you young lady.I been running a rig for about 40 years, glad to hear from a young lady that under stands our way of life we don’t like being away from family any more than you like us being away. May god bless you and your family.

    • Scissortail SILK says:

      It is hard work, Jim, but the men who do it are wonderful, devoted, dedicated and strong. I am so proud to say my husband is a pipeliner. I sure hope your family tells you the same. God bless you and yours this Christmas season! Thanks for taking the time to send me this message. It means so much.

  • tara says:

    With tears in my eyes, thank you for the perfect words.

    • Scissortail SILK says:

      Thank you, Tara, for taking the time to send me this message. Thank you for reading. It is so wonderful to know that so many of us feel the exact same way.

      with love.

  • Tracey says:

    I’ve never been able to communicate to people what our lives are like. This is perfect! Like you were reading my mind! Thank you so much for these precious words. Just found my newest blog to follow! God bless you and your sweet family. You are all in my prayers.

    • Scissortail SILK says:

      Thank you so much, Tracey. I am so glad you ended up on my page. Thanks so much for following and sharing! It is such a blessing to have such a wonderful community of oilfield families. Merry Christmas!


  • Shelly says:

    I have cried my eyes out reading this it is so true!!! My husband does not work on the pipeline but he does run construction welding and operating and yes we go when we can and live in the camper with him and sometimes we go for three months before we see him depending on how far he is working from home and we have three little girls!!! I dare anyone to call my hard working husband TRASH he works everyday in the blistering sun and in the freezing rain and snow he works when he’s sick even!! I often tell him that he thinks that they can’t run the job if he’s not there and for someone to trash talk my husband and let me hear it would be fighting words!!!!

    • Scissortail SILK says:

      I am so glad this touched your heart, Shelly. Bless you and your husband and your three sweet grils this Christmas season! I hope it is a time of togetherness and love. Thanks so much for stopping by and taking a minute to share your heart.


  • Kim Powers says:

    I feel so much like you my son works In a quarry by Odessa Texas lives in a small camper to save his money for his wife and kids stealing every minute he can head home to Clyde Texas 3 hours away to see his family. My loving daughter n law work at post office to help them too. Thank God that family and faith keeps them strong. My grandfather and many men in our family have made their livings in the oilfield in some form or another working hard to take care of their families there is no trash in work hard . Our country was built on hard honest work. May your family be as blessed as ours.

    • Scissortail SILK says:

      Thanks so much for taking the time share that with me, Kim. You are right. There is no shame in hard honest work. We are blessed to have men in our families who have taught us this! Blessings to you and yours this Christmas season! So glad you stopped by!

  • Thomas Family says:

    My husband is oilfild we are from louisiana and I see this on trucks all the time.I know how you feels I go a week at a time hopping and praying that my husband comes off that jackup boat safe to our two daughters and myself. I see tv shows on about the life of all kinds of crazy People just one time would I like to see a strong oilfield family on tv. You tell people your oilfield and all they see is “money” they dont see the time you lose with the people you love the birthdays are holidays missed. Thanks for helping all oilfield familys know they are not tbe only ones out there that feel that way. I have friends and family who stand by my husband and I but I know not everyone has that so thanks again!

  • Truce Trujillo says:

    I’m welder myself and this story is true and we also work hard to provide people what they needed such as menthol for their vehicle, propane, natural gas for their house to keep them warm, cook their own meals, and we burn our body parts from welding sparks, hurting our eyes from watching welding thru hoods, loosing our hearing from listening to welding, all equipment, and what do we get in return? No “thanks” or appreciate, etc.. People need to start thanking people who does all those works for those people who don’t do those kind of works!!

  • Kayla says:

    no truer words have been spoken! this made me tear up, trash is definitely not a word I would ever use describing my pipeliner!

  • Wow I love it. I wish there is one one with back hoe operator’s wife. My husband and I can relate very well on what you wrote. I husband has been a pipeline for 36 years now. There are towns that doesn’t want the pipeline there. They would have signs in their yards saying No Pipeline Here. I was afraid of letting people know we were with the pipeline. Last year when my husband went to purchase a four wheeler after work. No one of the employees would help my husband because he had dirt on his clothes after a day of working hard. When my husband yelled, can I get some help here. An employee finally came over to help. My husband wanted to purchase the new four wheeler but the employee wanted to show him a used four wheeler. My husband said he wanted someone else to help him. The other employee was much nicer and my husband bought the four wheeler. Never judge someone by how they are dressed!!! My husband told him that. Thanks for sharing.

  • Peggy Thomas says:

    Wow!!! Awesome story and all true!!!

  • Lisa says:

    I am a proud daughter of a welder. Almost all of the men in my family are pipeliners. I was raised following my daddy across this country, living in a travel trailer coming home only for the school year. I saw more of this country in 18 years than most see in a lifetime.I went to 5 different schools before Christmas as a first grader. We moved from town to town learning to find a grocery store, post office and a laundry mat. While as a child, I wanted to spend summers at home with my friends, however my life was much richer spending time with my family. Daddy worked from sunup to sundown often coming home caked in mud, but we were always glad to see him. He was the hardest working man I have ever known. My daddy took great pride in his work and we were incredibly proud of him. It is not an easy life and most don’t understand it, but I wouldn’t change being the daughter of a welder for anything.

  • Tonya says:

    Thank you so much for posting this! I just had to share your link and my pride for my welder husband with all of my facebook friends! Keep up the good work!

  • Sarah Rogers says:

    I love this and tolaly agree with everything 100%!! My husband is also a oklahoma pipelined! He works his butt off every day for me and our son! I’m am blessed beyond word to be able to be a stay at home mommy and to have traveled All over Oklahoma:)

  • Amanda says:

    I love this. You are an amazing family adored by our beautiful Savior! I love all of your pieces, I think I have read most of them by now! God is using you and your precious family for glorious things… Thank you for being a light! (This goes for all of your writing pieces). XO

    – Your sister in Faith. <3

  • Emily says:

    I found this article on Facebook today and I want to thank you for writing this. I’m a welders wife and 3 months pregnant. He works 10 hours away, and as I sit alone in our house day by day, I struggle with how I’m going to get through the next 6 months and then later after our baby is born. No one seems to understand how I feel or how difficult it is for both of us. This article definitely helped.

  • Mandy says:

    Thanks for this! My fiance just passed his test to become a pipefitter and I have no idea what to expect. This was so eye-opening. Thank you!! -Mandy

  • Steph says:

    I happened to stumble across your blog somewhere on social media and was immediately directed to the post about Finding Hope After Miscarriage. We lost our baby about 2 months ago and I went through such a weird grieving process. I think I convinced myself it was ok because it was God’s plan, yet I had these awful feelings of guilt and sadness. Then I realized that this was normal and it is how we are supposed to grieve. We weren’t created to understand death and God wants us to grieve, to understand Him better.
    After reading through that post, I noticed on the side column that you have a post about being a welders wife. Instantly I felt like we were going to be best friends. My husband finishes up welding school in 4 weeks and we are overwhelmed with what life is going to look like. We have two kids, 2 and under, and my husband already doesn’t see us much because he works full-time and then goes to school at night. I’m so nervous about what things are going to be like and all the traveling. We just talked about all of this the other night and I feel like I put so many stipulations on what I was willing to do. But I’m so proud of my husband for what he does for our family. Your post made me realize how much I need to show him that appreciation and not expect that he knows it. And that I really need to be open to whatever the Lord has for us. My dream has been to be in full-time ministry (similar to another post of yours) and work with students (high school or college age). I didn’t think I would be the wife of a welder. But I want to be proud of that and encourage him in all of it as I know it’s much harder for him to be away from us. God has a path and a plan for us and it’s not trash…it’s beautiful, because it’s His plan.

  • Janet Lasswell says:

    Just would like to say that people do not appreciate the hard work these men do.Nor do realize if it weren’t for these men they call “trash”they would not have all the comforts that come from some else working for their comfort ,I would be proud to be called there wife and shame on anyone who uses a drogatroy term for someone who works as hard as your husband does.God Bless and you have a beautiful family.

  • Laurie P says:

    I stumbled across you on facebook a little while back. I saw your post with your little table yesterday and thought “those curtains are exactly what I am looking for.” I went ahead and clicked over to your site today to read your post on how your little one perceives yelling grownups. It really hits home for me as a mother of three little ones. Then I read your post on the little girl and her mom in the dressing room and decided I wanted to know a little more about you. I discovered this and it about brought me to tears. My husband works in the oilfield in SW Kansas so I’ve heard the “oilfield trash” term used more times than I can count. My college-educated husband left a management job to go to work in the oilfield so that we could return to his hometown and I could stay at home with our girls. Thank you for putting many of my thoughts into words!

  • Danielle says:

    Beautifully written and brougt tears to my eyes. I’m a proud welders wife. He may not be on a pipeline yet, that is his goal, I know he works hard for us everyday, dirty and hot under his hood. I feel to my heart everything and every emotion you expressed. Thank you!

  • Bobbi Jan says:

    My 22 year old son has been working as a welder helper on the pipelinesfor almost 2 years and is about ready to test as a welder. He’s not married and no significant other at this point. So while he doesn’t have a wife at home worrying about him, his momma does plenty of it and tries to help take care of his business issues while he is out on the road. I’ll tell you this- I hope the woman he finds has the understanding, love and support for him so he can keep in doing what he loves. He loves what he’s does and has friends far and wide that he is proud to have.

  • Debbie Owens says:

    This story made me cry, my husband Billy is 63 and been a welder all his life and loves it! He gets dirty, and sweats so bad in the summer I’m like u I worry if he’s drinking enough fluids. He has had a couple of heat spells. He’s older now and the squating and getting on his knees all these years he comes home and can hardly walk. He does this all for is his family. He takes very good care of us. He takes such pride in his work. He even makes BBQ pits for family members and frames for swing sets for our new babies. He is a hard worker as you would know. He gets up at 4:30 and goes to work and gets home at 6:00 6 days a week. Never does he complain. What u said about soap stones made me laugh. I’m 60 and I truly appreciate what u said about our men. I would put mine up against any office worker! Trade jobs a day in dead Texas heat. Lol thank you again.
    Debbie & Billy Owens Magnolia, Texas

  • Spence Eli says:

    I am so sorry that you feel this way about the term “Oil Field Trash”! As the wife of a forrmer derick hand who worked the fields in N.D. In the 1970’s, I would like you to know that those men were very proud to be called oil field trash. It was NOT a bad thing! It was a term they used among themselves and to this day, so many years later, when he strikes up a conversation with someone and finds out that they also worked the rigs I often hear them laughing and saying “oh, you were Oiil Field Trash too!” They were very proud of the long hard hours they worked, many miles from home, staying in “man camps”, getting to go home about every two weeks. They made good money, were up standing members of their community, great husbands, fathers, etc. No one looked down on them or considered them “trash”. I suppose it is a sign of the times ~ people taking terms used in the past and twisting them into something other than their original meaning. As for me ~ I will always hold my head high and be proud of my Oil Field Trash, it is part of what has shaped our lives and made us who we are today! We now have sons working in the oil field, one is very hands on, working long hard hours everyday, welding and inspecting on the pipe line, moved his family to Eastern Montana in order for them to he close. Two started out as welder’s and inspectors on the gas lines and now have a very successful business with many men & women working out in the fields. So, you will never find this wife, mother, grandmother ashamed to be called “Oil Field Trash”. The people who use those words to hurt others are probably the ones who are to lazy to get out and get dirty! Continue to be proud of your man and support him for he is one of the good men supporting his family, not looking for handouts! God Bless You!

  • Mary Chreene says:

    I live in a town in west Texas and we just recently got a lot of business for the oilfield. It’s a “boom” that they say should last around 20 years. My husband worked in the oilfield for awhile but stopped so he could be home more. He’s looking in to going back out there though, because the money is good and he enjoys working hard.
    I have to say I agree with everything you just said. There is nothing trashy about working in the oilfield. It’s a way to earn an honest living and its very hard work too. It hurts me very much and annoys me beyond belief when I see people with stickers like that on their vehicles. Most of the people who do use them though, are young and have just started.
    My husband, like yours, is extremely hard working and loves to provide for his family. He refuses to let me use any the money I earn to pay bills(even though I totally do not mind). The oilfield boom is a blessing to our family and most of the men that I know that work in it definitely are NOT trash!!

  • Audie says:

    I was looking for something online to help me help my husband beat the heat. He’s a welder here in Virginia and it hit over 99 today and I wanted to see if there were any suggestions to keep him cool.
    Your blog was so refreshing. It is hard as a welder’s wife knowing that your best friend is out in the blistering heat, or drinking enough water or catching on fire. I light a candle for him everyday when he has to be out of town to make sure that the Universe brings him home safe and sound.
    I’ve never heard the term oilfield trash before today, but you’re right… there’s nothing trashy about a man going out everyday to provide for his family. There’s nothing trashy about a man working hard and getting dirty. There’s nothing trashy about being a welder at all!!
    I’m proud of my hubby.
    Thanks for sharing your story!!

  • Meredith says:

    I’m newly dating a pipeline welder I no little of his job and task. Your story touched my heart. And I completely agree I also have a brother that services wells in the oil industry he has spent a yr away from his family if lucky spend summers with the kids going to work with him but drives home on weekends from Iowa park to San Angelo Texas or hos wife drives and neither of the two men I’m speaking for are oil field trash. Thank you so much for standing up.

  • Brittany says:

    I too am a welders wife, and although mine doesnt work on pipeline but rather refineries, I have never read anything as true as this. Well said! God bless the hard working men and women and their families at home praying for their safety.

  • Cassie Brown says:

    Great article, and I agree to an extent. I am a very proud pipeliners wife but before that I was a very proud welder’s helper to a welding boyfriend and before that I was a proud girlfriend to a struggling welder (when our oilfield shut down after the 2008 elections). I have lived in a camper full time for five years and we have lived in Wy, OK, MT, and ND. Many of those places we were put down, people were rude to be rude and heard many times about how trashy we were and how we will never make a good family or have a good marriage. Well, I have met many families who embraced oilfield trash and have wonderful marriages, smart kids with manners, and salt of the earth folks. All of them have had to stand their own in public places and many of us stand together in our oilfield life. We are oilfield trash and there is nothing wrong if it means being being good people who work hard for a living and support our families, it is much better to be that then the people who were calling us that.

    I had to put my two cents in, and I enjoyed your article!

  • laci says:

    omg I love this could put it any better then u sister i am in the same boat I love being a welders soon to be wife when we have our big day thank you thank u for this post it has inspired me lots to post more on my blog about welders/pipelining life stuff

  • Alice says:

    My baby boy and his wife live the pipeline life. I worry about him constantly in the heat and the cold. The daily danger he encounters. Rattlesnakes. Fire. He works hard to provide a good life. “Trash” is offensive.

  • Ale says:

    wow! You nailed it my husband is a superintendent in ND and I struggle with a severe auto immune dieases and he works so hard so I can get treatment. Thank you for sharing

  • Shanthini says:

    I love this story!! My husband has been in this business for almost five years and he basically lives out of state to provide for his family Times get hard when I have to be a single parent 9/10but I’m very proud of my husband the welder, and I’m proud to be a welder’s wife!!

  • Amanda Tate says:

    Thank you for this. All too often people dont understand what we as wives go through or what our FABULOUS husbands go through to keep a rooc over our head, diapers on our babies and food on the table! Great article!

  • Chassidy says:

    I am also a welders wife, I have a full time job and im a mother. This is a great piece. We arent in the oilfield or pipeline. I am very blessed for him to be able to stay at home every night instead of being on the road. But I am very proud that my husband has worked his way up and even though he comes home drenched in sweat from working in a metal building with no air, covered in grind dust, and exhausted. Just to get home in time to eat dinner and kiss our son good night before having to wake up at 4 a.m. and do it all over again. He has had to miss out on weekends, family trips and we have never had the time to take a vacation due to his work schedule. Nevertheless i will still put a smile on my face, cook him a meal, wash his disgusting clothes (that get little shards of metal all in my dryer) and do it all without complaint because i thank God that we are lucky enough for him to have such a great job. Thank you for having the courage to speak out against the arrogant and inconsiderate who think they should try to flaunt their ignorance.

  • Mona Ward says:

    I’m not a pipeline welders wife, but I’m a momma, sister and an aunt to three pipeline welders. It’s a rough lifestyle sometimes, but I can tell you there’s not a thing trashy about them! What makes you trashy is the lifestyle a person decides to live. I can proudly say mine are great men of integrity!

  • Erin says:

    We don’t pipeline anymore but I know you all too well, I was actually my husband’s welder helper before we had our 1st daughter, trying to explain to your doctor why you are moving at 30 some weeks pregnant and not getting weird looks or comments was just one part of it…telling people you live in a camper and trying to explain what you do without sounding like “trash” is super hard to do but we will slowly change the perspective of this wonderful industry with wives like you!! God bless ♡

  • amanda says:

    seriously the best thing i have read in a long time love my pipeline family!!!

  • Brittney says:

    your such a wonderfuL person Becky. I love this post.

  • Serra says:

    Thank you, SOOOO VERY MUCH for this. ♥♥♥♥♥

  • Nancy Etheredge says:

    Working hard is NEVER trashy, no matter what it is. Trashy is in a person’s behavior, be it in pipeline work or wall street, stabbing your best friend in the back to move up, or promoting another crooked deal. Anyone who equates a little dirt on one’s body with his character, has serious character flaws himself.

  • Jen says:

    I love your story. I travel and work with my husband on the pipeline. You could not not have said it better about the life we live out here. Thanks for sharing.

  • Cecilia says:

    I LOVE THIS!!!!! Our life to a T! My husband works 6 sometimes 7 days a week, 10+ hours a day. And he does it all for us (we just had a baby 3 months ago). I know he wants nothing more than to stay home with us all day, or go hunting or fishing, but he doesn’t. He gets up early, drives an hour to work, works 10 hours then drives an hour home. And while sometimes I feel like a single parent, I can’t express enough to him how much I appreciate all he does for us. Thanks for this post and for letting me know I’m not alone!

  • Melinda Landis says:

    Thank you for that heartfelt account of a welder’s life!! My husband worked in the oilfields in NE. Oklahoma, as well as going out of town frequently to work in other parts of Oklahoma. We were a young couple then with two small children, and he would work 14 to 16 hours a day, and get right back up at 3 or 4 in the morning to do it again!!
    Like you I worried about him every single day. If it wasn’t the extreme Oklahoma heat, (he did have a heat stroke one year), then it was the fear of an explosion on the rig, or some other catastrophe. His best friend got electrocuted and my husband got a jolt when he knocked him off the rig to keep him from dying of electrocution. It was, (and still is), a hard job, but one that he loved doing.
    He like you husband made time to spend with his children every night when he got home from work, even though he was so tired he could barely keep his eyes open. They are both grown now with children of their own.
    If these youngin’s want to call themselves oil field trash, that’s their business. As long as they are not including my husband in that category. As far as I am concerned, he is OIL FIELD PROUD and one heck of a man!!!
    Thank you again for showing the side of a caring, loving, supportive wife and family!!!

  • Katie says:

    This hit so close to home. My husband works 7/12’s
    out on the coast in TX/LA, on an LNG refinery.
    We have a 3 year old boy who is so in love with his daddy
    and our 7 month baby girl who is amazed by all!
    We travel 6 hours every 10 days to stay with daddy
    in our camper. It longs hard days for our men and for
    us mommies too.

  • Allison says:

    This is perfect, ma’am! I love that you said “pipeliners’ wives will smile kindly at you…” Also how we take our babies to small towns in the middle of no where… When some small towns are not always the warmest and welcoming.
    It truly is a lifestyle that only pipeliner families can understand. When I try to explain it to my friends about basically being a gypsies family and not knowing where we will go next they reply with things like “I don’t know how you do it” etc…it’s a second nature to me to want to do it for my husband. It’s the least I can do for how hard he works for us. I love this article so much, my fellow pipeliner wife and friend :)

  • Megan Rogers says:

    I love this! Perfectly put every single word. The younger generation has given the older generation a bad name. My husband & I have 3 kids and every time he leaves the driveway it kills all 3 of us.

  • Alisha Dale says:

    Very few people are strong enough to work/live the life of a pipeliner. Their days are long and a normal work week is 6 on and 1 off. They adjust to weather like a camillion adjusts to color. Dirt is the sign of a hard days work. They do what it takes to make the pay they send home to their family. They miss their wife and watching their children grow up. Most of it is lived thru pictures that are sent from the ball games of their babies or from birthday dinners that were missed because they are hundreds of miles away. I am proud to love my pipeline welder and their is nothing trashy about him or the life we live. I spend many hours on the road driving to spend as much quality time with him as I can. It’s a life we have chose and I wouldn’t ask him to change. This is who he was when he stole my heart and to me he is perfect.

  • Kristen says:

    Welders are definitely not trash. No human being created in God’s image is trash. I find that jobs in oil fields, whether it be welders or something else, are all the rage right now for the men in my church and it seems to be mostly about the money.
    I wonder if they might find a decent paying job closer to home if the family was willing not to put the focus on having that nice, huge house or material things. This is not universal, of course, but I’ve seen many examples of men getting these jobs and then that family moves into that huge house in that posh neighborhood. For them, that lifestyle is worth the dad/husband being away from his family and, in my opinion, the priorities seem to be backwards in those cases. I’m not trying to accuse you of these things because I don’t know enough about you or your husband to know why he chose this path (I’ve only read this one article on your blog), I’m just stating an opinion.
    Just some insight about myself and my family; we pulled ourselves out of poverty through A LOT of blood, sweat, and tears. Now, we have a high income but still live very modestly because we have found that our spiritual home is each other and we got the chance to learn to be happy fitting a family of four back in that small one bedroom apartment when we were wondering if our groceries would last us. We still consider ourselves “poor” people; not a lot of stuff but a whole lotta love!

  • Kimberly Cothran says:

    I saw this truck in Abita Springs, La. My husband is also a pipeline welder. I didnt take offense to it, but it did grab my attention. I saw this article and thought, could this be the same guy and truck. I admire you for your blog. Keep that hubby and babies in your prayers… keep doing what your doing. We know we arent trash and dont need to prove ourselves to anyone. We have a love like no other and they will never understand that.

  • joel says:

    Wow,, I was just driving in the site and thinking how cleaned up the right of way is after trees being torn down dirt dug up 6 feet down. There is not one piece of litter any where.
    You see im New to this profession.I do pipeline maintenance.I use to work in an office.. I say this these people out here,are hard workn get out of my way cuz I got a job to be done down to earth kind of people. They love what they do. I always said when I die I don’t ever want to say ” I wish I would have” But now I wish I would have started this job earlier in life,to get away from the real trash.

  • Anna K says:

    Those stickers are a dime a dozen out here in West Texas – and it always seems to be the wives who plaster them on their humongous vehicles, which they don’t seem to be able to drive. I haven’t seen many of the actual oil field workers who have the stickers.

    My dad works as a tanker, and my best friend is in the oil industry, too. I know how hard they work and how much they love their families.

    I also know that the oil fields pay well enough attract people from all walks of life, so you’ll get some real bad apples in every bunch. THOSE folks (who spend their money on drugs and booze, buy jacked up trucks that roll coal, and act like their new money makes them special) are the ones who make every other oil field family look bad. :(

  • Kate Strain says:

    My husband is a welder and he works in the oil refineries. We have only been married for two months, so I am fairly new to the long-distance marriage thing. I can’t thank you enough for writing this. My girlfriends just don’t quite understand what it is like to have a husband on the road more than he is home. I find comfort in your words and I am so thankful to have read this when I needed it the most.

  • Chris says:

    VERY WELL SAID, and I love it. I am a welder by trade, but I have gotten into welding inspection recently. I know exactly what it is like welding cooped up inside storage tanks, or inside pressure vessels or even in chemical plants and refineries. You are exactly right, we work hard for our paycheck to support our families and are proud of it. We also make great sacrifices being out on the road making a living. I am about to hit the road again myself. We also need to show our wives/husbands how much we love them and how much they mean to us, and lets take a stand for those who work out on the road to make a living for their families and be proud. To all of the welders out there, ROLL ON AND KEEP THEM LINCOLNS STACKING IRON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks.

  • Kara Beard says:

    I really needed to read this today! Thank you so much. We don’t have kids yet but we have three dogs just like kids and they run into their dads arms as soon as he walks in the camper and he takes a few min from a long day to play with them and talk to them and me.

  • Chris says:

    Megan Rogers, I know how you feel. It kills my wife and 3 kids, very heartbreaking. We have got to do it though to make a living for our babies. My hat goes off to all of the hard working men and women out there in the oilfield business. We all need to take a stand and be proud and support them because, they are the ones out there away from home, all alone making new friends to help take their minds off of being at home. I have worked out on the road plenty of times and I know how it feels.

  • Moriah Setzer says:

    Oh how I needed this. Sitting here with tears in my eyes in Washington state visiting family while my husband spends his 13 days on and 1 off in West Texas. I am so proud of him and everything he does. And so thankfully to have found such a wonderful community.

  • Laurie says:

    Well said! I used to travel on the road with my guy. I was grateful every day that he came home to me alive. I love him with all my heart. One day, not too long ago, he didn’t make it home. I was so proud of him. I didn’t know about appreciating the welder man until I met him. I miss him terribly. My life will never be the same.

  • Erin says:

    Love your blog! I love my pipeline man and I’m so proud of who he is and how hard he works for our fam. Not many are cut out for the job or the lifestyle and couldn’t handle what it takes. These guys deserve lots of respect for what they do and so do the women at home holding it together. Thanks for this! Xo

  • Jason Kemper says:

    Very sweet tribute. My son is currently in welding school and thinks he wants to be a pipeliner. It is a hard job and the guys who do it are a special breed. Hang in there and keep being a great wife and mother. God knows we need more families like the one you guys are raising. Not to mention more MEN who work hard in unsung and often treacherous jobs to support the ones they love.

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